Everett Parker Pope was born on July 16, 1919 in Milton, Massachusetts. He moved with his family to North Quincy and was a member of the North Quincy High School’s class of 1936. He then attended Bowdoin College in Maine. After graduating with honors in 1941, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.
Charles Howard Roan was born on August 26, 1923 in Claude, Texas. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in December 1942. After his training as a Marine rifleman, he joined the active Marine Corps’ 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment and the 1st Marine Division. Like Arthur J. Jackson, Roan’s first combat experience was during the Battle of Cape Gloucester.
Arthur J. Jackson was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 18, 1924. He volunteered and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in December 1942 at age eighteen. After his recruit training in San Diego, California, he joined the 1st Marine Division in time to see his first combat service during the Battle of Cape Gloucester.
On September 15, 1944, the United States Marine Corps‘ 1st Marine Division began the assault on the island of Peleliu. Peleliu was identified as a necessary target to seize as both flank protection and staging area for later attacks on the Philippines and on to Japan.
Two Marines – both from the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment – received the Medal of Honor for their heroism on the first day of the assault. Both were awarded because the Marines smothered grenade blasts with their bodies.
Robert Lee Wilson was born to a farming family in Centralia, Illinois on May 21, 1920. He was working with his father on the farm when he decided to enlist in the United States Marine Corps on September 9, 1941.
Frank Peter Witek was born on December 10, 1921 in Derby, Connecticut. He moved as a child with his family to Chicago, Illinois, and it was from there that he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on January 20, 1942.
After training, Witek was assigned to the active Marine Corps as an automatic rifleman armed with an M1918 BAR with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment as a component of the 3rd Marine Division. He fought with 1/9 on Bougainville, and then landed with them on Guam on July 21, 1944.
Joseph William Ozbourn was born on October 24, 1919 in Herrin, Illinois. At the outset of World War II, he was working as a coal miner and was not subject to being drafted as that was considered a war-essential occupation. Nonetheless, he felt the call to bear arms and volunteered for the United States Marine Corps on October 30, 1943.
Louis Hugh Wilson, Jr. was born in Brandon, Mississippi on February 11, 1920. He graduated from Millsaps College (Jackson, MS) with the class of 1941 and immediately enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.
Wilson was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in November of 1941, and at some point in his early service his commission became with the regular Marine Corps. After his initial officer training, he was assigned to the 9th Marine Regiment at San Diego which was being formed between 1942 and 1943 for combat in the Pacific as part of the 3rd Marine Division.
Leonard Foster Mason was born on February 22, 1920 in Middlesboro, Kentucky. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in April of 1943, and became a rifleman with the 3rd Marine Division‘s 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. Mason landed with 2/3 Marines on Guam, July 21, 1944.
Luther Skaggs, Jr. was born in Henderson, Kentucky on March 3, 1923. He volunteered for the United States Marine Corps Reserve on October 6, 1942. After his recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina he was placed with the active Marine Corps in the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.